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Personnel Files

How to write the perfect rejection letter


Mounting layoffs are creating a glut of qualified and aggressive job hunters who are desperate for work. As their frustration grows, more applicants are reading deeper into their rejection letters—sometimes spotting job promises or hints of discrimination that you never intended.

HR and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009


Tucked into the massive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are several provisions affecting HR. But because most require federal agencies to write new implementation rules, predicting how they will play out day-to-day will be like trying to hit a moving target. Bookmark this page to stay up to date on compliance guidance as the government releases it.

New law on privacy in place: How to comply


If you haven’t already taken appropriate measures to comply with New York’s new privacy law that took effect in January, do so now before the Commissioner of Labor moves to assess civil penalties. Amendments to the New York Labor Law now require employers to protect employees from identity theft and other potential privacy problems.

Don’t assume privacy clause guarantees privacy


Some employers include a privacy clause in their applications and handbooks that tells employees they can opt out of having their names and addresses released to third parties. However, if a worker who is suing for wage-and-hour violations wants to get his hands on employee names and contact information for the purpose of building a class-action case, those privacy clauses can’t stop it.

Immigration compliance issues and changes to track in 2009


Employers have a number of immigration compliance issues to track in 2009, affecting the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9, business travel, no-match letters and employment authorization documentation.

Termination and the right to see records


Q. In New York, does a terminated employee have the right to see his personnel file or other documents?

Legal limbo or law of the land? The ‘new’ no-match rule from DHS


In 2007, a U.S. District Court judge in California had enjoined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from enforcing new rules that changed the language of the no-match letters issued by the Social Security Administration and the requirements for how employers must respond to the letters. DHS announced that its final no-match rule was taking effect Oct. 28, 2008.

Can we make staff provide emergency contact info?


Q. We’re cleaning up our personnel files and updating emergency contact information. Some employees don’t want to provide their contact information. Is it legal for us to require them to give it to us?

Feds issue new I-9 form: Start using it by Feb. 2


U.S. employers must begin using a revised version of the I-9 Form starting Feb. 2. Employers that use the current edition of the I-9 (dated 06/05/2007) after Feb. 2 may be subject to fines.

Job applications: What can you ask? How long should you retain them?


No federal or state law requires employers to use job applications. But if you do require applicants to fill them out, know the legal do’s and don’ts of what questions to ask. Here’s the topic-by-topic guidance you need, along with relevant records-retention rules.